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Does power magnify the expression of dispositions?

Does power magnify the expression of dispositions?

Guinote, Ana, Weick, Mario and Cai, Alice ORCID: 0000-0001-9278-8066 (2012) Does power magnify the expression of dispositions? Psychological Science, 23 (5). pp. 475-482. ISSN 0956-7976 (Print), 1467-9280 (Online) (doi:https://doi.org/10.1177/0956797611428472)

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Abstract

Conventional wisdom holds that power holders act more in line with their dispositions than do people who lack power. Drawing on principles of construct accessibility, we propose that this is the case only when no alternative constructs are activated. In three experiments, we assessed participants’ chronic dispositions and subsequently manipulated participants’ degree of power. Participants then either were or were not primed with alternative (i.e., inaccessible or counterdispositional) constructs. When no alternatives were activated, the responses of power holders—perceptions of other people (Experiment 1), preferences for charitable donations (Experiment 2), and strategies in an economic game (Experiment 3)—were more in line with their chronically accessible constructs than were the responses of low-power participants. However, when alternatives had been activated, power holders’ responses were no longer more congruent with their dispositions than were the responses of low-power participants. We propose a single mechanism according to which power increases reliance on accessible constructs—that is, constructs that easily come to mind—regardless of whether these constructs are chronically or temporarily accessible.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: power, construct accessibility, dispositions, priming, automaticity, social cognition
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2020 12:48
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/26483

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